ATTICA, Ohio – Tim Shaffer’s sprint car came to life the last half of the race, propelling “The Steel City Outlaw” to his 13th career 410 sprint car win at Attica Raceway Park Friday.
It was the opening night of the Kistler Racing Products FAST (Fremont Attica Sprint Title) Championship Series Presented by KS Sales and Service. The champion of the series between the two tracks will take home $10,000 at year’s end.
Shaffer, a four-time UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions sprint-car champion, ran fifth and sixth through the first half of the race in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 410 Sprint feature. He used the bottom of the track to perfection and drove from fifth to third on lap 15 and two laps later moved into second. Shaffer drove under Caleb Griffith for the lead on lap 23 and pulled away.
Shaffer credited his new car owner Bryan Grove and all the guys who showed up to help.
“I was a little too tight early and the track just kept coming to us. Hats off to this team…they’ve been awesome. We got a mixed crowd of guys here tonight…some from back home (Aliquippa, Pa.) and Bryan brought some guys. Scott Gressman (Gressman Powersports) is really helping us out and the J&J Chassis,” said Shaffer.
“I can’t say enough about Bryan Grove. He lets me take this thing and do what I think needs to be done and it’s paying off,” continued Shaffer. “The key is we have been putting ourselves in a position to win. The thirds and fourths and fifths…the wins will come. Everything went our way tonight.”
Chris Andrews and Brandon Wimmer would bring the 410 sprint feature to the green as the two raced side-by-side over the first lap with Wimmer gaining a slight advantage. Andrews would drive into the lead on the second circuit with fourth-starter Caleb Griffith taking second a lap later.
Griffith would execute a slider in turns three and four to take the lead on lap five with Andrews, Craig Mintz, Wimmer, Jody Keegan, Shaffer, Stuart Brubaker, Danny Smith and Chad Kemenah in tow. Griffith raced into heavy lapped traffic by the 10th lap with Andrews and Mintz closing while Keegan, Wimmer and Shaffer gave chase.
The first caution flew on lap 12 for a stalled Travis Philo with the running order Griffith, Andrews, Mintz, Keegan Shaffer, Wimmer and Brubaker. When the green flew so did Griffith as Andrews had his hands full with Mintz while Keegan and Shaffer battled for fourth. Shaffer would drive under Keegan and Mintz for the third spot at the half-way point.
Griffith continued to lead while Shaffer raced under Andrews and into the runner-up spot on lap 17. With 10 laps to go, Shaffer had caught Griffith and was taking a peak on the low side. The action would drive to a half though when Dustin Daggett tumbled in turn one. He was uninjured.
On the restart Griffith and Shaffer resumed their battle with Andrews, Mintz, Keegan, Brubaker, Wimmer Smith and Kemenah in tow. Duane Zablocki would spin on lap 22, setting up an eight lap sprint to the finish. On the restart Shaffer dove under Griffith and took the lead.
Shaffer would pull away slightly the remaining seven laps while Griffith would come home second. Mintz, Andrews and Keegan would round out the top five.
In the Sunoco American Late Model Series feature, Wooster, Ohio’s Doug Drown put on a dominating performance. Last week after experiencing issues in his heat, Drown lapped nearly the entire field in the B-main for the Summit Racing Equipment UMP Late Models and was turning track record times before blowing an engine on the final lap. This week, after battling with Brandon Thirlby early, Drown pulled away and survived a couple of late race cautions for his sixth career Attica win leading the last 27 laps.
It was also the opening night of the $2,000-to-win JLH General Contractors FAST Championship Series presented by Engine Pro for the Foster’s Auto Body 305 Sprints. John Ivy held off a tremendous challenge from Steve Rando late in the race to score his second win of the season at Attica. The victory is the 13th of Ivy’s career in the 305 sprints at ARP.